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  1. #1
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    Skin Game (The Dresden Files) by Jim Butcher

    Last edited by AmethystOrator; May 20th, 2014 at 03:30 PM.

  2. #2
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    I very much enjoyed these 2 chapters, though not quite as much as I did with Cold Days. Of course with that book I didn't feel that the middle lived up to the promise of the initial 7-8 chapters. Hence, the potential in using these 2 to gauge what the rest of the book is like may be quite limited.

    For anyone interested, here are my best recollections of those two chapters:
    Spoiler:
    It's been over a year since the last book and Harry's still on DR. Harry's been training himself and learning how to be a proper Warden to the Island and make use of it's defenses in case of future need. All the prisoners are either promising him the world or threatening him in order to obtain their release, until he meets one who isn't. That prisoner, who sounds British, accepts the need to be there, but doesn't want to chat. The Avatar appears and due to a failed joke it looks like it'll be called "Alfred Demonreach" now. Harry's been sending a lot of messages to Molly & Mab, but hasn't heard anything back, except that Mab is now at the dock.

    The second chapter is Harry's meeting with Mab. Harry's not happy, Mab needs him and tells him that the parasite, which has been getting worse, will kill him in three days. She's been intercepting his messages off-island and his friends (no names or details) have been trying to reach him for weeks but she has kept the weather bad to prevent this. They have a confrontation and Harry asks what happens if he refuses. She says that he can, but when she has time then she'll have to train a new Knight once he's dead. He agrees to accompany her, but hates how she waits until the last minute to take away his options and force him into doing what she wishes. She admits that she does, and it is her best way to control him. And off they go.

  3. #3
    Jim reads the first 4 chapters and the video is posted in youtube, just search for "jim butcher skin game reading miscon". And as for me i like how Skin Game starts off better than cold days, the first 4 chapters made me laugh a lot
    PARKOUR!!!!!!!!

  4. #4
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    Still no word yet on the publication date of this 15th novel in the series,
    Amazon co.uk (that ever-reliable provider of publication dates!) are saying 3rd December 2013 here in the UK.

    It could change, but it's a rough guideline as a date.

    M.
    Mark

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hobbit View Post
    Amazon co.uk (that ever-reliable provider of publication dates!) are saying 3rd December 2013 here in the UK.

    It could change, but it's a rough guideline as a date.

    M.
    Locus Mag also has it listed with a December release, but as you said, that can always change. :-) I usually find Locus Mag to be a bit more reliable than Amazon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alucard Hellsin View Post
    Jim reads the first 4 chapters and the video is posted in youtube, just search for "jim butcher skin game reading miscon". And as for me i like how Skin Game starts off better than cold days, the first 4 chapters made me laugh a lot
    PARKOUR!!!!!!!!
    Thanks very much for the advice Alucard Hellsin!

    Glad that you liked it so much. I enjoyed Chapters 3 & 4 too, especially as I know whom Dresden had in mind in the deal that was made in Chapter 4:

    Spoilers from after Chapter 4...
    Spoiler:
    Michael Carpenter.

    I really hope that there is discussion on why Harry hasn't seen Molly in over a year when he shows up at the Carpenter house. Harry not seeing Molly was bad enough before, but he needs to be an influence in her life, Winter Lady or no.

  7. #7
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    Thanks to Hobbit & Alle for the publication date info.

    I would love for you both to be right, and for this book to be arriving in 3 months or less. I don't want to get my hopes up too high though. Amazon US doesn't even have a placeholder entry for the book yet, much less a tentative release date. I have to wonder if they can get it out so soon, seeing as it hasn't been definitively announced yet. Also, I'd expect that booksellers would have wanted more notice before this goes on sale. But I'm not an expert in these things, I could be wrong and I won't mind if I am.

    It would be especially interesting if this is released December 3rd, as that's the same day as the GRRM edited Dangerous Women anthology which will include a pre-Cold Days Molly short story.

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    OP updated with the first 4 chapters and the US release date.

  9. #9
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    OP updated with the 5th and final free preview chapter.

  10. #10
    Ok, I've finished Skin Game, and it was a pretty good Dresden book. There were a couple of great funny things ("Parkour!") and some things that really annoyed me, but in general it was a good read. I have three things I'd like to talk about that have MAJOR spoilers, so only read if you have completed the entire book.

    Spoiler:

    1) Towards the end, when Michael goes with Harry on the heist (yay Michael back in action) are you telling me he can't sense the presence of the other coins? It doesn't make sense because Knights have shown the ability to sense coins in the past, but now he can't tell two people who are inches from him are being ridden by Lasciel and Ursiel? Weak.

    2) As soon as Harry saw the Shroud of Turin, I *knew* that he would lend it to John Marcone so that he could heal the girl in the secret hospital - Demeter's daughter. And then it. doesn't. happen. You know the girl - basically John's entire reason for everything he does? This selfless act would possibly have changed the course of events, if it healed the girl. Marcone might have given up crime and started working against the Denarians, for example. But Harry literally has it in his pocket, and doesn't mention it when he talks to Marcone. That seemed pretty sh*tty of Harry to me, considering it would have been used to heal a girl.

    3) Butters as a Knight is super lame. And a light saber? (I'm on the fence about that one) But why would the sword react stronger to Butters than, for example, to Michael, who basically devoted his life and entire philosophy to God? My point being that if Michael's sword had been made a light saber, he would have defeated Nick and any other Denarian with ease, and who deserves the power more than Michael? He had faith in Harry when Butters did not (and actually spied on him). Yet Butters is elevated above Michael??

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by phil_geo View Post
    Ok, I've finished Skin Game, and it was a pretty good Dresden book. There were a couple of great funny things ("Parkour!") and some things that really annoyed me, but in general it was a good read. I have three things I'd like to talk about that have MAJOR spoilers, so only read if you have completed the entire book.
    I find it interesting that you have "Parkour!" in the great things category. I've got to say that I wasn't as enamored of that one, especially as it continued to appear again. But different strokes and all that.

    Spoiler:

    1) Towards the end, when Michael goes with Harry on the heist (yay Michael back in action) are you telling me he can't sense the presence of the other coins? It doesn't make sense because Knights have shown the ability to sense coins in the past, but now he can't tell two people who are inches from him are being ridden by Lasciel and Ursiel? Weak.
    I haven't reread in awhile, but that does seem a good point.
    Spoiler:
    Maybe an argument could be made that since he was temporary and at least somewhat chosen by Dresden then he didn't have the full powers that he would have otherwise? Perhaps there was some reason not to diclose that we aren't privy to, but still, I agree that it seems puzzling.


    Spoiler:
    2) As soon as Harry saw the Shroud of Turin, I *knew* that he would lend it to John Marcone so that he could heal the girl in the secret hospital - Demeter's daughter. And then it. doesn't. happen. You know the girl - basically John's entire reason for everything he does? This selfless act would possibly have changed the course of events, if it healed the girl. Marcone might have given up crime and started working against the Denarians, for example. But Harry literally has it in his pocket, and doesn't mention it when he talks to Marcone. That seemed pretty sh*tty of Harry to me, considering it would have been used to heal a girl.
    Spoiler:
    Yeah, though maybe there are reasons for the delay, him wanting to study it first, or not thinking about it, or wanting to think it through? As the Winter Knight he also talked more than once about balancing scales and was even called out on that, perhaps his Winter affiliation makes it harder for him to do something for free? There's also the chance that things with the girl have changed, either naturally, or as part of the timeline continuity changes that have been happening through the series. Good question though.


    Spoiler:
    3) Butters as a Knight is super lame. And a light saber? (I'm on the fence about that one) But why would the sword react stronger to Butters than, for example, to Michael, who basically devoted his life and entire philosophy to God? My point being that if Michael's sword had been made a light saber, he would have defeated Nick and any other Denarian with ease, and who deserves the power more than Michael? He had faith in Harry when Butters did not (and actually spied on him). Yet Butters is elevated above Michael??
    I'd go with God's plan, works in mysterious ways, that sort of a thing.
    Spoiler:
    Michael is obviously supposed to be retired, and once he gave back Uriel's grace then he'd be pretty injured again. I'd imagine that they'd say that he has done enough and now it's time for someone else, such as Butters, to have the chance. Clearly he very much wants to do good.


    Personally, I liked the book, especially the shout out to Socrates, but really really
    Spoiler:
    want to see him re-establish a status quo and have lots more in-depth conversations with a lot of people he knows, especially Ebenezar and the White Council.

  12. #12
    Sooo glad someone has posted back. I rarely read books early so I'm not used to waiting to discuss them.
    Spoiler:
    All your reasons for Dresden not giving John the Shroud are completely plausible, but what's strange is that it was never discussed. Dresden didn't struggle with the Winter mantle, there was no inner monologue where he decides to study it first, etc. It was as if Butcher just didn't think of this idea, but there's no way Butcher forgot because he had many mentions of the original shroud John obtained from the Churchmice. I'm still wondering on this one.

    As far as Butters, I agree with you as far as things stand now - Michael shouldn't have gotten the light saber. But if God is capable of producing a lightsaber, why didn't Michael get one 20 years ago when he was in his prime? You have me thinking that it does come down to mysterious ways - for example, maybe Nicodemous has a big part to play in the battle against the Outsiders and God didn't want him to be destroyed. This is hinted at when Deidre mentions the Denarians goal of saving the Earth. I'm not sure how the Denarians previous attempt at bringing a plague to Chicago and killing tens of thousands would figure into that, but I guess we'll see...

    I completely agree about Ebenezer - even seeing Harry walk into the next White Council meeting will be incredible. Here's another question:

    Ebenezer was at Chichen Itza. Then, presumably, he heard that Harry died. Are you telling me he didn't track down Harry's killer? And Harry's killer is THE HOUND, who Ebenezer hates already. So why isn't the Hound smoking ash? Where has Ebenezer been and what has he been doing for about the last 3 years?

  13. #13
    Spoiler:
    You must have forgotten the conversation Uriel had with Dresden about the broken sword. He mentions how the sword also can be tempered and end up stronger. Murphy broke the sword but Dresdens faith in the sword when he tossed the broken hilt to Chasity made it stronger. Reread that conversation because it explains better than I.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by phil_geo View Post
    Sooo glad someone has posted back. I rarely read books early so I'm not used to waiting to discuss them.
    You're welcome. I don't have quite as much free time as I'd like right now, but will try to keep up my end of the discussion if you want to keep talking about them. And hopefully more people will join too.

    Spoiler:
    All your reasons for Dresden not giving John the Shroud are completely plausible, but what's strange is that it was never discussed. Dresden didn't struggle with the Winter mantle, there was no inner monologue where he decides to study it first, etc. It was as if Butcher just didn't think of this idea, but there's no way Butcher forgot because he had many mentions of the original shroud John obtained from the Churchmice. I'm still wondering on this one.
    I hesitate to assume, but wonder if some of it might be due to the length of the book, Butcher seeming to prefer books that don't get too too long, even moreso now that it seems like he's slowing down a bit, with maybe a touch of burnout on Harry. That's just my read, and I of course could be mistaken. It also could be that it's key in a book or two, and Butcher wanted to save it and reveal it in appropriately dramatic fashion.

    Spoiler:
    I also don't want to discount the Winter Mantle. We're seeing Harry's pov, and in it he seems to mostly have things under control, but he's been unreliable in the past. And in this book the line from Butters about him repaying debts seems to me to maybe be more important then it immediately would appear.


    Spoiler:
    As far as Butters, I agree with you as far as things stand now - Michael shouldn't have gotten the light saber. But if God is capable of producing a lightsaber, why didn't Michael get one 20 years ago when he was in his prime? You have me thinking that it does come down to mysterious ways - for example, maybe Nicodemous has a big part to play in the battle against the Outsiders and God didn't want him to be destroyed. This is hinted at when Deidre mentions the Denarians goal of saving the Earth. I'm not sure how the Denarians previous attempt at bringing a plague to Chicago and killing tens of thousands would figure into that, but I guess we'll see...
    Spoiler:
    I may have missed it, but is it still a lightsaber, or did it reform permanently once Butters used it? As far as Michael, I guess they felt he didn't need it, until the blade was broken then it had no problems, and it's not even Michael's blade that was broken. As far as Nicodemus, then you may well be right, though there's probably free choice and alternate plans and all that too.


    Spoiler:
    I completely agree about Ebenezer - even seeing Harry walk into the next White Council meeting will be incredible. Here's another question:

    Ebenezer was at Chichen Itza. Then, presumably, he heard that Harry died. Are you telling me he didn't track down Harry's killer? And Harry's killer is THE HOUND, who Ebenezer hates already. So why isn't the Hound smoking ash? Where has Ebenezer been and what has he been doing for about the last 3 years?
    Spoiler:
    Yeah, that's a very good point, along with spending more time with Thomas and his new great-granddaughter. The Grey Council and Formor are maybe keeping him very busy, but it is something that I definitely hope we see addressed.

  15. #15
    Spoiler:
    It did occur to me as soon as the sword shattered that it is not the swords that are artifacts, but instead the nails from Christ's crucifixion that are worked into the hilts that are artifacts. That's why there are three swords - three nails. When the sword shattered, no one even thought about taking out the nail and working it into a new sword's hilt. It makes sense that the hilt (which presumably still contains one of the nails) had power. I do like hawkwind's point about man's faith being a large part of what drives the swords (and drives God's power and influence on Earth in general). It means that maybe God couldn't just make a lightsaber appear when He felt like it, it had to do with a unique confluence of Butter's attitude, Harry's struggle, and the sword's current state.

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